INTRODUCTION GIGI MARINO Daughters of Ra CONTENTS Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson The Wonder Raising Lazarus Jay Liveson Note from Alvin Knishes with Dad S.I.D.S. To His No Longer Coy Mistress Hospital Courtyard Ward Kelley The Struggle to Relax A Pulse Silent Guards Radames Ortiz Runaway Rough Traveling El Jefe Saturday Night El Camion On Milam Kim Welliver No Song RED BALLOON Plucking D-Major on Violin Strings POST SCRIPTUM Durlabh Singh BALLAD SPACES OF HEART TURNER, TURNER.
GIGI MARINO Daughters of Ra ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In a photo pressed to my dresser mirror- my sister and I, naked in the sun, the nipples of her breasts, hard olives, little rocks rolled from the sea, part shell, animal, part me. Now, twenty years later, we laze in the same sun, naked again, though one of her breasts is gone cleaved to cancer. I try not to gaze too long at the scar, a red-lined map straight to the heart. In those first tender days after the surgery, my hands, shaking, I could not look then as I changed the bandages and felt the heat of her wound searing us both, her anger just as hot: all rage and loss. Days later, she said, "My body is not trying to kill me, but telling me how to live." Today we are comfortable in our older skin, scars and all as we soothe each other with ointment and sweet oil. Daughters of the sun, we ache for our true olive color. Arms outstretched, eyes closed, the heat of this moment sinking in we mourn the loss, remembering to live.
Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson The Wonder ~~~~~~~~~~ The ricocheting silence of a full moon summer night, transforming shadows into light. The pristine water of life flowing from the endless river-ocean, filling my being with such sacred notions. The words of humankind touching heart with sound, the mind with thought, the spirit/soul with love like fire that's caught.
Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson Raising Lazarus ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Light penetrates, pulsates, circles and spins: until everything and everyone is filled and transformed with it's beauty. This light is similar, yet profoundly Holy: recognisable, yet enigmatic. Its properties and nature are the same as any other, yet brighter than a thousand heavenly bodies. O Light, full of renewed birth, gently awakening a dead corpse. Blowing your breath again into this human being Lazarus. Responding to the love-grief of your friends and family, you, O Light, provide us with a foretaste of our eternal inheritance and destiny.
Jay Liveson Note from Alvin ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Labor Day has come and with it preparations for the Fall term. I gather with my fellow father-daughter teams, in the parking lot of the off-campus dormitory. It fits the standard mold-- converted decaying mansion, charming molding on long narrow staircases, many strange-shaped subdivided rooms, many floors. An elevator? Illegal in a dorm. I follow the fatherly routine--drag box after box up 4 flights of steps, while daughter triages below and in her yellow room. There's that tilted lamp, the tattered futon, the pile of bricks. Many rest pauses later, we assemble that crap into bed, dresser, night table, book cases. My father always managed to stay uninvolved these occasions when I was a kid. I used to resent this. Now I admire and envy him. I’m so deeply involved in all this stuff. And yet, when advice is sought, I'm so seriously ignored.
Jay Liveson Knishes with Dad ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This is an era when aerobics are unknown, cholesterol is "fine" in the hundreds, life so often ends with sudden stabbing chest pains. Father, engaged all his life in a fight against obesity, pauses between rounds. Outside, he reaches down for my hand, leads me to our secret club--the knish factory. The four block trek is ample to trigger my saliva, set my stomach aroar. Father seats me at a bare enameled table, my short legs swinging. I shake loose sawdust that clings to my shoes from our walk across the floor tiles--like in our bathroom. Smoke of overbaked dough is stirred through the room by lazy ceiling fans. "Kasha, cheese? What will it be?" What a question. I crave kasha grains, gray, flecked brown, spiked with onion shreds. Father craves cheese knishes, especially over a cherry lining. I run small fingers over multiple green paint layers coating plaster defects, await father's return. He’s balancing two plates, a porcelain crock-- home made sour milk. His favorite. Right. I noticed dozens of them cranked up from somewhere on the dumbwaiter. Too sour for me. "Wait until you're older." He skims the crust, licks his spoon like mom's icing ladle. My fork slips so easily into thin knish shell, allows kasha vapors to burst free. I saw off a soft edge, bite-sized for me, scoop it, lower my head to meet the fork. No need for idle talk. Everything is perfect in this perfect world.
Jay Liveson S.I.D.S. ~~~~~~~~ What should have been announced by wailing of a siren, slipped by as a whisper in the night. The pallor of your skin matched the cream of your crib linen. It seemed as if peace had descended on you--our sleeping infant. It seemed as if some gracious hand had calmed your membranous lids had settled their gentle tremor. No more restless movements. Breezes no longer teased white crests into the waves. And this calm--when did it evolve into terror? After that forever moment when I lay my head against your breast heard its hollow silence? After the frantic pressing of my mouth to your so miniature lips? Or only after all had come and gone, while we finally stood embracing beside your empty crib, when we recognized the new vacancy that filled our lives?
Jay Liveson To His No Longer Coy Mistress ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I know, my dear, that you make perfect sense. Alas, these brief crescendo passion moments never measure up to scenes we dreamt while in our years of youthful innocence. How frivolously we would sacrifice for (what once seemed to us) an endless love. ...What wouldn't we expend to find some mate, to run hot fingers underneath cloth’s ice, to slide between the creases of moist skin... But you are right, my dear. It doesn't shock me when we're done, to realize the dials have barely budged between the starting line until the final tape. I share your scorn. And yet I say, my dear, restart the clock.
Jay Liveson Hospital Courtyard ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This courtyard is different--designed around a driveway--drop-off point for ambulances, rimmed by a sidewalk too narrow for benches, perfect for wheelchairs. Here patients stretch out functioning limbs, whir around with abandon. Outside hospital doors, they laugh at medical rules, ridicule people they'll soon summon to carry them, change their sheets. Here they're all equal--forever damaged. Patients who weathered radiation, cancer operations--share forbidden butts. A brain injured boy talks about weather with a gray haired woman who thinks it's always winter. They compete for affection of pigeons with shreds of bread from bathrobe pockets. A mother soothes her twisting son, tries to stop him from pummeling his helmeted head. Aphasic patients forget race, religion toss contrapuntal syllables back and forth. The art of the mime reigns supreme. This is the courtyard for the chronic in-patients, their narrow asphalt turf of freedom. Discrete nurses stay out of hearing range. Doctors pass with a simple wave or nod. It's these "others" who enter the courtyard who find the air slightly chilled.
Ward Kelley The Struggle to Relax ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somewhere at the core of the matter, zeroed down into an essence of carnality, there, there, at the heart of our breathing souls, we will find, I believe, I am sure, I know, a truth. Why we cannot see it without dying, I do not know; it certainly does not seem just or fair that we should die, but it is in the nature of this world that no poem can ever reveal to all of us what lies beyond the rim of death as succinctly as science or religion reveal most of their truths, yet it is the poem in which I have placed my faith, the faith of one who would secretly hope there is some good reason for us all to struggle on and on, in our simple endeavors, in our anxiety of breathing in and out, hardly ever stopping to seek a poem that reveals the heart of the soul, the little beast who forever throbs and beats away at the discords and fears that swirl around it, beating, beating, in the whiffy aftermath of all this flesh: the beast hints this is all to some great purpose, so relax until you die.
Ward Kelley A Pulse ~~~~~~~ The sane are always only a few pulses from the crazed, for it is a hard path to view the world as benign, and not an instrument for eventual deterioration. Can we really find fault with all our idiosyncrasies, all the odd diversities us human beings have found to deter the final realization that we are mortal. We fight against it every day, for some intuition says once we admit it we begin to die more swiftly, so it is better to try to ignore all the signs that we are not meant to be, for long, not meant to inhabit these poor bodies who foliate slowing into wind. So is it sane, or is it not, to ponder this task of living, ponder it by poem, the eye of intuition, who tells me in the recesses of the soul, the lid to the eye, which opens from time to time to see this body is just a shell, a home? And when the hermit crab has grown beyond the capacity of his body, he must then discard it, allow it to go vacant and unused, drop it to the bottom of the sea, a grave, while he searches out the next pulse.
Ward Kelley Silent Guards ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The rebels separated the men from women, placing them in different, roughly-made barracks while they awaited disposition . . . most of us feared our execution. Exercise yards were defined by barbed wire which looped from the barrack, enclosing a muddy, grassless ground where we captives trudged and smoked. It happened in the corral -- as the guards called the female exercise yard -- where the youngest, most comely, women, maybe seven or eight of them, held hands, joined in a ring, ring-around-the-rosey, then slowly rotated their circle of humans in the sun; some of us men drew near our wire as we tried to peer into their purpose . . . on the third rotation, without a signal, they removed their shirts then rejoined hands. We shouted, and abruptly all men pressed into the wire, our arms reaching toward the unattainable; the guards ignored us, mesmerized by these girls who now removed their bras. We shouted again and again, but the women kept their eyes fastened on each other as pairs of breasts, untanned, revolved around and around, just beyond the silent guards, far beyond our hands, around and around, an act of graceful beauty and great bravery in this sad place where we might very well meet our deaths today . . . these women have found the courage to defy the fates who predict our lives go straight, from beginning to end.
Radames Ortiz Runaway ~~~~~~~ through dusty window shields and blazing heat I see the weather-rotted faces of working men and women look down as they pass by Weary of the nightclub district I roam el central where calloused hands grab firm asses and brimming cups of cheap beer rest on wooden bar stools dry, starless, the night wedged into cracks of brick wall as buses spew smoldering exhaust into neon liquor sky I’ve given myself to the freeway, to the long cement snake that sheds its gray skin on streets and stubble grass Wandering carelessly, Pasando alfalfa fields and Baytown refineries that breathe steam, fogging window panes of houses near ditch banks y streetlights hooded sweatshirt, wide-bottomed jeans long haired and unshaven, I skim through unknown cities for a mask innocent and golden I lose myself in rain-gutted side roads where dreams of Hollywood and hand rolled cigarettes are locked into soil of sweaty palms of bar managers and fast-talking pimps who promise children like me, all over the world, that light gleams at the end of a curving road that one day the sky will turn blue like crystal mountains in Tampico and families reunite consoling, talking like friends never separated
Radames Ortiz Rough Traveling ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Lupe and I skip eighth period We hide beneath shacks, waiting for the bell to ring Mr. Duncan never looks for us We cut across football fields, jump over barbwire Fences. Our bodies brown and strong Chests heaving like red balloons Laughing, we smash bottles against walls Of the old tire factory. Echoes of glass and Victory ring throughout the sky. We are Brothers who want out; a place of our own We talk nonsense: Metallica and quinceaneras, Green valleys across the border, of Erica’s breasts, Staring at us Until a train horn, bursts into our chests, Pounding our cheeks, our ears detecting opportunity We run out to the tracks, eager to greet The iron bull that stampedes through streets Like cowboys, we wait for the perfect moment Grins cutting across faces, the whiteness Of palms becoming red. We wait "Ya! Lo agarramos!? Lupe’s mouth; a trumpet of war Charging the train, placing our feet On platforms, dangling from bars We ride through the neighborhood like birds Past the amazed crowd that line the streets like blurred photographs in rain We blow kisses to mamasitas who wore Red-skirts and blue-eye shadow Eyes closed, I dream of an endless Train ride, taking us deep into the horizon Until Lupe and I are no more
Radames Ortiz El Jefe ~~~~~~~ Gregorio Flores was el jefe del neighborhood. We’d watch him cruise the streets, as daytons glistened near TV repair shops and pounding bass rattled wooden floorboards of garage apartments. He rode on crushed velvet-- a one man parade, full of glory and fear. Our eyes bled envy. Our mouths watered respect. When he pulled into the 7-11 on Zoe and Wayside he threw switches and seeped into the brown soil of our lives. The lowrider shifted from side to side raising its headlights, dropping its front end, rocking on springs and shocks. Burnt oil. The hum of hydraulic pipes vibrated wet pavement And us, chamacos del barrio, gazed into mirrors that lined his doors. On metal and fiber glass we painted dreams in the form of Aztec warriors looking over red earth. Drunk with pride, con mas firme del sol, our souls sang, in spite of the harsh, punishing light inside poverty.
Radames Ortiz Saturday Night ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Another 4 a.m. and we litter Rudy's driveway with beer cans, cigarette butts, and plastic baggies. In June night we form a semi-circle and lean against Shorty's Impala. We talk not of baseball or cars But of girls we've screwed, niggas we've jumped, of tampons we've stuck on neighborhood doors. Caught between a passing jet and Black Sabbath, blasting garage walls, we acknowledge that things aren't so bad, that our lives aren't falling apart. And after several joints we drop the "Cool" attitude and become children of the alleys once more. Chests heaving. Faces Wet. We engage in piggy-back wars on moist grass, howling into the early morning. And for a moment, in the glory of our muscles, we return to the summer of our childhoods where we promised to remain together despite our aging skin and the growing chinga in our lives
Radames Ortiz El Camion On Milam ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ El camion on Milam passes with the smell of junkie sex and hobo urine while i stand near the methadone clinic remembering my friends of the sewers who pollute the night with their trashcan souls & dumpster lives singing songs of ambulance haze y cocaina dreams Trembling bass ancient deerskin beats resound exploding through streets like pre-dawn sadness These are the abandoned Heroes of my dirty childhood a heartbeat I took years to perfect And now this morning waiting for el camion dreams cling like leg-irons on prison feet while on Lyons rd. i burn like a roman candle bright and proud for decades
Kim Welliver No Song ~~~~~~~ I've never sung the body electric I doubt I could even raise a tuneless thread of sound to celebrate this breathing skin, this collection of peony and buttermilk, musk-melon breasts, nipppled in rose, knees like turnips, radish toes. No soaring arias or arpeggios will loft from my toneless, stoneless choke-cherry lips on choral wings notes unfolding like fans with spokes of feathers paned in light. Perhaps an un-melodic hum not hymn, will supple, slip over the springboard of my tongue more accident of breath and squeezebox lungs, more combination of palate, tongue and lips, resonate chords sunk deep into the sounding channel of the throat, than any conscious thought to give this body praise. Though it moves and breathes with me through sleeves of rain, and dances me within bright bowls of sun, though chamoised skin keeps raindrops out, blood in and hair cleaves in corn silk sheaves and staves of floss spun light to limn limbs with motions gold, and crown the thinking head with spools of tangled shine, elbows unhinge in flights of lateral flow, and fingers pluck and strum the clever chords of touch and stroke; no song will pierce the silence with its beam no hallelujahs raised or praised or streams of melodic tunes in reverence raised, or joyful curves of voice to carve the air. I'm humble in my bones, and leave electric songs to the skin I wear, to heart's drummed thrum, lungs whisper, to the susurrous wet-whir workings of slick looped threads of veins arterial pulse, belly's vellum vibrato nerve fibered bundles and skeins. I leave Whitman's paean's to what I am that, without a voice, still sings.
Kim Welliver RED BALLOON ~~~~~~~~~~~ We give you a red balloon conferring it with all the pomp of Paris bestowing his golden apple, hoping somehow to draw you intact from the cradle of might-have-been with a latex fruit the glossy color of pomegranates thinking, perhaps in the inky pools of labryinthine sub-conscious, where we chase Daedelus' waxed string of hope that, like Persephone you might eat the garnet seeds blood tint staining you fingertips, come whole to us in the latter half of your life with rational, clear eyes, and nimble feet, and all the brassy, nerve-pinned cogs and wheels, the synapse-toothed gears meshing propelling you, at least for a time into the light. When I tie the string about your wrist, the red dream floating above your head, glorious as Icarus before his fall, you squeal delight, scrape a bent, crabbed finger across the rubbery skin, grin as it squeals back. You are locked within a dark mirror, wordless as Medusa's stones or Daphne, tree-swaddled and yearning for freedoms other than green, tethered to us by a red balloon, a latex miracle disproving gravity. We draw druid charms, fill goblets with virgin blood, offer sacrifices to Hypocrates and Apollo, assuage the clanging gongs of our guilt with red balloons as we wipe the drool from your chin
Kim Welliver Plucking D-Major on Violin Strings ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Plucking D-major on violin strings fingering maple, steady sea-eyed girl secrets sleeping in your reflective gaze bowing the tune of grownup at age ten Fingering maple, steady sea-eyed girl you carve your distance in adagio bowing the tune of grown-up at age ten gift kisses like petals, moons of peach skin You carve your distance in adagio tethered within your melody of joy, gift kisses like petals, moons of peach skin your ebbs and flows potent as lunar tides Tethered within your melody of joy a songbird giving throat in sun-spun strands your ebbs and flows potent as lunar tides aching for autonomy and these arms a songbird giving throat in sun-spun strands you slip the fetters I would bind you with aching for autonomy and these arms fiddling yourself new arias of life You slip the fetters I would bind you with neck curved, head bent mastering allegro fiddling yourself new arias of life plucking D-major on violin strings
Durlabh Singh BALLAD ~~~~~~ Go saddle me the black black steed For I am going on a long long journey Go wipe away the tears that roll Across brawny cheeks of gypsie lassie. Fifteen well made men going on their steeds To get their brides leap over the strand The brunt hills in search of a namer Drying fast to justify conscript of land. Twilled with a broach and a ring wintry The death stalks the hill with sickled moon The leaden sheen on the steed's back Has turned the night's face into a roon. Late late yesterday I saw the moon Full bodied like a new sickled maned The death will stalk these streets tonight And am afraid of downy owl's nickled bane. Come on fair ladies hang your hair down Over the fair head over the abordour The fifteen men have gone to castle waste And along came the death to devour. Go saddle me the black black steed The merry castle keep has hovelled a cry Though death stalks every haste and waste And brawny cheeks of gypsie have gone dry.
Durlabh Singh SPACES OF HEART ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Neither wreck of hope nor promises fulfilled Neither love nor torture nor mutability Nor hooking of oneself ego'd to oneself Or to the world for its swaggering applause. Spaces of heart Abundance of access Numbers & squares Inscrutability & recess Receiving & receding Angels of high repute All rallying around To accommodate in art The spaces of heart An abundance of access Numbers & squares Inscrutability & recess.
Durlabh Singh TURNER, TURNER. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Turner , Turner burning bright In the long galleries of night What immortal hand or eye An impressionism of solid delight. Pompous full of divine right Embodying huge egos by sight Catching the history with its rugged throat And empowering nations with easy sloth. What glorification of ordinariness Yards and yards of divine nothingness What colours ! What strokes ! What numbness of mind what gentle hoax. Rightly enlarging the hold of history Which excels in excellence of mediocrity Even the gaudy showers of some cosmic lottery Could not obscure thy fearful symmetry.
Welcome to Newsgroup alt.centipede. Established just for writers, poets, artists, and anyone who is creative. A place for anyone to participate in, to share their poems, and learn from all. A place to share *your* dreams, and philosophies. Even a chance to be published in a magazine. The original Centipede Network was created on May 16, 1993. Created because there were no other networks dedicated to such an audience, and with the help of Klaus Gerken, Centipede soon started to grow, and become active on many world-wide Bulletin Board Systems. We consider Centipede to be a Public Network; however, its a specialized network, dealing with any type of creative thinking. Therefore, that makes us something quite exotic, since most nets are very general and have various topics, not of interest to a writer--which is where Centipede steps in! No more fuss. A writer can now access, without phasing out any more conferences, since the whole net pertains to the writer's interests. This means that Centipede has all the active topics that any creative user seeks. And if we don't, then one shall be created. Feel free to drop by and take a look at newsgroup alt.centipede
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. REMEMBERY: EPYLLION IN ANAMNESIS (1996), poems by Michael R. Collings . DYNASTY (1968), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken . THE WIZARD EXPLODED SONGBOOK (1969), songs by KJ Gerken . STREETS (1971), Poems by Klaus J. Gerken . BLOODLETTING (1972) poems by Klaus J. Gerken . ACTS (1972) a novel by Klaus J. Gerken . RITES (1974), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken . FULL BLACK Q (1975), a poem by KJ Gerken . ONE NEW FLASH OF LIGHT (1976), a play by KJ Gerken . THE BLACKED-OUT MIRROR (1979), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . JOURNEY (1981), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . LADIES (1983), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . FRAGMENTS OF A BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1984), poems by KJ Gerken . THE BREAKING OF DESIRE (1986), poems by KJ Gerken . FURTHER SONGS (1986), songs by KJ Gerken . POEMS OF DESTRUCTION (1988), poems by KJ Gerken . THE AFFLICTED (1991), a poem by KJ Gerken . DIAMOND DOGS (1992), poems by KJ Gerken . KILLING FIELD (1992), a poem by KJ Gerken . BARDO (1994-1995), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . FURTHER EVIDENCES (1995-1996) Poems by Klaus J. Gerken . CALIBAN'S ESCAPE AND OTHER POEMS (1996), by Klaus J. Gerken . CALIBAN'S DREAM (1996-1997), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . THE LAST OLD MAN (1997), a novel by Klaus J. Gerken . WILL I EVER REMEMBER YOU? (1997), poems by Klaus J. Gerken . SONGS FOR THE LEGION (1998), song-poems by Klaus J. Gerken . REALITY OR DREAM? (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken . APRIL VIOLATIONS (1998), poems by Klaus J. Gerken . THE VOICE OF HUNGER (1998), a poem by Klaus J. Gerken . SHACKLED TO THE STONE, by Albrecht Haushofer - translated by JR Wesdorp . MZ-DMZ (1988), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . DARK SIDE (1991), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . STEEL REIGNS & STILL RAINS (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . BLATANT VANITY (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . ALIENATION OF AFFECTION (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . LIVING LIFE AT FACE VALUE (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . HATRED BLURRED (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . CHOKING ON THE ASHES OF A RUNAWAY (1993), ramblings by I. Koshevoy . BORROWED FEELINGS BUYING TIME (1993), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . HARD ACT TO SWALLOW (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . HALL OF MIRRORS (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . ARTIFICIAL BUOYANCY (1994), ramblings by Igal Koshevoy . THE POETRY OF PEDRO SENA, poems by Pedro Sena . THE FILM REVIEWS, by Pedro Sena . THE SHORT STORIES, by Pedro Sena . INCANTATIONS, by Pedro Sena . POEMS (1970), poems by Franz Zorn All books are on disk and cost $10.00 each. Checks should be made out to the respective authors and orders will be forwarded by Ygdrasil Press. YGDRASIL MAGAZINE may also be ordered from the same address: $5.00 an issue to cover disk and mailing costs, also specify computer type (IBM or Mac), as well as disk size and density. Allow 2 weeks for delivery. Note that YGDRASIL MAGAZINE is free when downloaded from Ygdrasil's World-Wide Web site at http://users.synapse.net/~kgerken.
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